There are over 7,000 islands in the Philippines, all surrounded by a seemingly endless supply of saltwater.
Amongst those 7,000 islands, a dark night is likely to be lit up by kerosene or battery lamps that burn relatively cheaply but are both a health and fire hazard.
As humans continue to work on improving renewable energy, alternative fuels and solar technology, all that ocean water is suddenly being thrusted into the game with the invention of SALt lamps (Sustainable Alternative Lighting), or "sun jars." These slick new lamps, which run entirely on salt water, were the brainchild of engineer Aisa Mijeno, who decided to help offer a solution when she discovered the hassle so many Filipinos went through to perform tasks after dark.
The lamps works using what is called a galvanic cell battery. Using two electrodes, it relies entirely on saltwater that can be made with one glass of water and two tablespoons of salt. Or, if you happen to live an island, it can be made using the hugely popular resource that surrounds your home.
"The salinity of ocean-water can operate your lamp," the founders of SALt lamps say on their website. "Use the ocean-water to power up your lamp and it will give you 8 hours of running-time. Salinity is expressed by the amount of salt found in 1,000 grams of water. The average ocean salinity is 35 parts per thousand. Store ocean-water in bottles and use them to power up you lamp anytime, anywhere."
But that's not all they can do.
According to their site, you can use the lamp to charge your phone in case of an emergency. In the Philippines, described by the U.N. as the "3rd as the most disaster prone country" in the world, having another power source for your phone is incredibly valuable. On top of that, with eight hours of use a day the lamps are expected to last for six months before needing a new another.
While the product isn't for sale yet, it has already won multiple awards and continues to impress and the founders hope it can start helping families by the new year.